Over the last 20 years we’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of teams from groups of children through to boards of FTSE companies.
On reflection, it seems that the more senior the team the less effective it may be, here’s why:
- Senior people are often competitive types, they like to lead and can struggle to follow as in the adage ‘too many Chiefs not enough Indians’
- These similar personalities mean that the characteristics that balance teams such as altruism, reflection and caution can be absent.
- Their experience has made them suspicious of others’ motives, so they are slow to trust.
- Their complex remuneration packages focus their attention on short term personal gains, over the good of the whole.
- They’ve learnt to play political games on their way up and do so instinctively.
There are of course exceptions. Some senior teams clearly share the same goal, understand one another’s strengths and weaknesses and willingly give and receive honest feedback. Much like children do.